Thanks for stopping by! I was first licensed in 1958 (KN9MYB) when I was just a young kid on the South side of Chicago who loved the idea of communicating with others without having "wires" to connect us. (I know that you can now do that with a cell phone, but Ham Radio is so much more fun!). That still excites me to this day and keeps me intrigued by this great hobby.
Back in 1958, my mentors were Ray Cox, K9LKR and my Dad. My Dad, though never a ham, loved electronics and radio and he shared that interest with me. My earliest recollection of ham radio was listening to hams on my Dad's Zenith Trans Oceanic radio. My Dad always supported my own interest in electronics and ham radio. I learned so much about electronics and life from him. He subscribed to Popular Electronics magazine and I read it cover to cover each month, especially Herb Brier's (W9EGQ and later W9AD) Amateur Radio Column. I remember taking the bus to Allied Radio in Chicago to pick up parts (and to look at all the ham radio gear way beyond my reach)for PE projects. Ray Cox was a neighbor who was about 5 years older than me at the time and he kept nudging me along until I got my ticket. I've lost track of Ray, formerly K9LKR. If anyone knows what happened to him, I'd love to hear from you.
Those were the days when as a Novice, you were pretty much limited to CW and the license was good for one year and couldn't be renewed. You HAD to upgrade if you wanted to stay in the hobby. My station at that time consisted of a Hallicrafters SX-71 receiver and the venerable Heathkit DX-35 transmitter. I had a Vibroplex Original Deluxe Bug and a 40 Meter Dipole for an antenna. My crystal (no VFO then) was on 7.158 Mhz and the power INPUT was 75 Watts. I remember a big thrill for me back then was working California on CW. I can still remember running down the stairs to tell my folks that I had just worked the West Coast(from Chicago). It was a real treat.
I lived in the great state of New Jersey for 21 Years where my good friend Rick Stealey, K2XT got me interested in antennas, DX, Receivers and the Dayton Hamvention. Rick is a mentor and a great friend.
I've been going to the Dayton Hamvention for 36 Years now and have missed only 3 shows during that period of time. We have an eclectic group of hams that get together every year at our flea market spot. We pride ourselves as being the "friendliest fleamarket spot at Dayton". We call ourselves the "DOGGYs" (Dayton Organizational Group Gathering Yearly). Our group consists of K2XT, W7KWS, N2ZJK(SK, RIP Ted), KM7R, W1QJ (King Conversions) and N3EPG. Each year, the trip to Dayton is the highlight of my ham radio year. We're sad to see that Hara Arena has closed, but we're looking forward to the new location at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio. The DARA folks that host the Dayton Hamvention do a great job.
After 30 years in various marketing and sales positions with AT&T, I retired in 1998 and we moved to Florida to be near my XYL's family. In Orlando, I had the great honor of working for Amateur Electronic Supply for almost 11 years. I retired from AES in January, 2012. Working at AES was a great way to stay in touch with the new equipment and helped me make many new ham radio friends. It was very sad to hear that AES has closed after 59 years at the end of July, 2016.
My main interests in the hobby are meeting new people, chatting on CW, SSB, PSK31 or JT-65 and working DX. I've earned DXCC, WAS, WPX and WAC. I'm a member of ARRL, A-1 Operator Club, FISTS (#10342), Ten-Ten, SKCC (#2567), SMIRK, QRP ARCI (#10791), NAQCC (#5934), Flying Pigs (#2118), SouthCars and received my 55 Year Certificate from the QCWA. I am also an ARRL VE, which has allowed me to give back to the hobby somewhat by welcoming new ham operators to the fold. I have also dipped my feet in the world of D-Star. It's another interesting aspect of this great hobby. I also have a Raspberry Pi/DVMega Hotspot running for D-Star as well as a OpenSpot by SharkRF (Great product!) which I utilize mainly on DMR on Brandmeister. I am usually monitoring TG 3100. The fun never ends!
Over the last 4 years I've also been bitten badly by the QRP bug and portable operation. It's a serious condition! I have an Elecraft KX3 (#825) which works great for portable ops with it's built-in batteries and ATU. It's a terrific rig. With the KXPA100 amplifier, it makes a great base rig. For Portable/QRP operations, I've also built a RockMite 20 transceiver and I now have an Elecraft KX2. Portable antennas include the PAR EndFedz, AlexLoop, PAR OmniAngle 20 Meter and other assorted EFHW antennas and a homebrew NorCal Doublet.
After 58 years, I still LOVE this great hobby and it never ceases to amaze me how many friends you can make all over the world. One of my great friends is Bill, G4MQV, in Northeast England. We met on the air way back in 1980 on 10 meters and still converse often. We've never met in person, but amateur radio has helped us maintain our friendship. With propagation as poor as it is now, we mostly use Echolink to stay in touch. Another long-term ham radio acquaintance is John, G4NHO, who lives near London. We also met on 10 meters many years ago and he and his wife Jackie actually visited us in NJ many years ago.
When not playing with the radio, I can be found spending time with family, preparing BBQ (LOVE my new Pit Barrel Cooker!), flying my DJI Phantom 3 Drone, taking photos or reading. Oh, and I also love collecting vintage vinyl LPs and of course listening to them on some vintage equipment with my vintage ears :).
If you hear me on the air, give me a call, I'd love to chat with you. Below is a photo from August, 2013 when I operated portable for the NJQRP "Skeeter Hunt" (See Larry's excellent QRP Blog at http://www.w2lj.blogspot.com for more information). I participated again in 2014, 2015 and 2016. It is really a casual, fun contest. All are welcomed.
My Go-To paddles when in the shack. The Begali Sculpture, a work of art in every respect. They make operating CW a true pleasure. If you love CW, you owe it to yourself to try out a Begali. Trust me, if you enjoy CW, you will love the Begali paddles.
Here's an interesting QSL for you to check out. Back in 1988, my good friend Rick, KT2Q (now K2XT) was part of a DXPedition to Navassa Island, NP1. Rick was kind enough to deliver my QSL in person. Here is the QSL that he delivered. Yes, it's an actual limesone rock from Navassa Island. What a great QSL!
This QSL Card is one of several QSL Cards that I send out. I took this photo while visiting the Cape Canaveral National Seashore, just North of Titusville, FL. I liked it so much that I decided to turn it into a QSL Card. The actual cards were printed by Lee, K7NM at PhotoQsls.com. They are a great printer and do a terrific job. I highly recommend their services.
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